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The 10 Best Hotel Chains for Families: 2012

Whether it's a kid-friendly hotel to crash in for a night or a resort you'll never want to leave, Parents has, um, no reservations recommending these chains.
family travel

Choosing a hotel is the most important part of vacation planning. To pin down places you can count on for a pleasant stay no matter what city you're in, Parents evaluated the family-friendliness of more than 70 hotel chains with locations in at least ten states. Based on current room rates, we divided them into three categories -- budget (you'll typically find a room for $99 to $149 or less per night in most locations), mid-priced ($150 to $249 per night), and expensive (anything higher).

Then with guidance from travel experts, we dug up info on room layout (separate parent and kid sleeping areas were a key consideration), amenities like a mini fridge and a microwave; family conveniences besides the standard crib; safety issues such as childproofing; recreation like pools and playgrounds, children's programs, and babysitting services; and value-added perks such as free breakfast. Once the results were tallied, we highlighted five selections from each of the lower-priced categories. So next time you need a place to stay, look to this list for the inn-side scoop.